Gifted or Just Your Average Weirdo?

A Young Adult Novel
When New York City teenager Michael Clancy stumbles into a discovery of his own potential, he ends up both loving and hating the fact that he’s different.


As soon as I had eaten dinner, I went to my room and set to work. I looked up the eagle online to be sure of the details of the bird’s fierce head, although I already had my own version in mind–not to scale and not white. I blew up three balloons and taped them together. I wanted this head to have a humongous appearance. Then I made up a batch of papier-mâché and worked it around the three balloons into a fantastic shape.

Mom came in while I was busy, carrying an armful of raggedy-looking furs.

“Michael, these are from my hippie days,” she said, laying them across my bed. Take your pick.”

“Uh huh,” I said. Two hours later, I stopped papier-mâchéing, went to the bathroom, washed up, and returned to try on my loot.

One of the furs looked kind of like a boa constrictor. I put it around my neck and then wound it around my torso. Another was a fur vest of some kind that was full of holes. I took off my boa constrictor, put on the vest, then put the boa constrictor back on–and tra la! I had just the effect I wanted. Tough!